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Wittgenstein and the Metaphysics of Grace$
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Terrance W. Klein

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199204236

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199204236.001.0001

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From Ethics to Epistemology

From Ethics to Epistemology

(p.23) 2 From Ethics to Epistemology
Wittgenstein and the Metaphysics of Grace

Terrance W. Klein

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes up the biblical roots of grace, noting that grace begins its life as an act, specifically the human perception of being favoured by God. All revealed religions view their adherents as graced, or favoured by God, even if the purpose of this favouring is ultimately a more universal election for all peoples. In its encounter with non-biblical thought, specifically Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, the Galilean religion would be forced to defend what could be called ‘the emergence of history from nature’ and its proclamation of historical predilection on the part of God. St Augustine of Hippo will appear as grace's champion in this struggle, defending salvation history by recasting it as a great dialogical drama of love. It is argued that the passion driving Augustine was a personal, nuptial relationship, one inadequately expressed by the concept of nature, demanding instead that history be seen as the foundational horizon for grace.

Keywords:   grace, God, St. Augustine of Hippo, Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, Christianity

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